Belfast Telegraph

Louis Walsh has talks with Simon Cowell over X Factor return

Louis Walsh has spoken to Simon Cowell about returning to The X Factor.

The 63-year-old music manager announced earlier this year that he was stepping down as a judge on the show after 11 years, and he has been replaced on the panel by Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw.

But reports have emerged that Walsh is in talks to return for the live shows to help boost flagging ratings.

Walsh told ITV's Loose Women: "Simon said the door was open to me months ago. I talked to him last night. There is a possibility I might end up on the show... But I don't know for definite."

He added: "I'd like to. I'm available.

"There is a possibility. It's up to Simon and I get on with him really well. I have worked with him for 12 years... We talk all the time. I think there is a chance."

Walsh has admitted in the past that he and judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini do not get on.

Asked what he plans to do if he returned to the show he said: "I'm going to bring Cheryl chocolates... I'd like to bring a bit of fun."

The Irish star previously quit The X Factor in 2007 and was replaced by American choreographer Brian Friedman for the early auditions. But after a few days Walsh was rehired and Friedman became the show's creative director instead.

Rumours suggest the former Westlife manager would act as a neutral judge, sitting away from the panel and giving unbiased commentary on the contestants during the live shows.

The X Factor audience figures are already down over a million compared with 2014 and on its first head-to-head with Strictly Come Dancing a few weeks ago, the rival BBC show had more than a million more viewers.

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